We survey tons of franchisees: Theyll bash their franchiser on training and leadership, but when you ask them, Would you do it again? the majority of them say, Sure, said Eric Stites, chief executive of Franchise Business Review. Its that love-hate thing. Food franchisees earned an average of $82,000 in 2012, according to the survey, but that average masks wide disparities: 50% of the food operators surveyed said they earned less than $50,000, while 25% earned more than $100,000. Restaurant operators also tend to work long hours: 68% of franchisees surveyed work 40 or more hours per week, 59% work evenings at least a couple of times a week, and 47% almost always work weekends (that compares to 35% of franchisees in all industries). One franchisee quoted in the report said restaurant owners should expect to work 10- to 14-hour days. Read the report. Not an easy path to success Investing in a food franchise can also take substantially more start-up capital than other types of franchises, thanks to real-estate, equipment and supply costs, plus other expenses. Still, the initial investment can vary from as low as $34,500 to as high as $4 million, depending on the type of restaurant, the report said. While starting any type of franchise may be easier than launching an independent small business, franchising is not really an easy path to success, Stites said. Key mistakes to avoid The surveys finding that satisfaction is lower among food franchisees than other types of franchisees is not unusual, Stites said. The food sector is a little bit more complicated a business to run, he said, noting that its often very employee heavy, plus entails dealing with fluctuating food prices, the potential for food spoilage and other challenges. On top of that, youve got probably some of the slimmest profit margins of any business, he said. Franchisees without prior restaurant experience may be in for a rude awakening.

Food franchisees face low pay, long hours

Freelance journalist Adam Baron, based in Sana’a, recommends Matam Taiz for the peculiar Yemeni specialty aseed a doughy dumpling of fish meal, covered in gravy. 3. Cote D’Ivoire Cote D’Ivoire is yet another country stricken by civil war and political unrest, and its capital, Abidjan, is recognized as the third most dangerous city in the world. Street crime, robbery, and car-jackings are common here. But when it comes to finding a taste of traditional local cuisine, the country has plenty to offer. Good places to sample the food are maquis, outdoor markets unique to Cote d’Ivoire. To be considered a maquis , the restaurant must sell braised food commonly chicken or fish, served with onions and tomatoes. Cara Waterfall, writer of the blog bellejournal, recommends a maquis called Chez Rokia, where the owner, a woman called Rokia, serves people cold beer and dishes such as poulet braise, grilled chicken marinated in Dijon mustard and garlic. 4. Somalia With ongoing bombings and terror attacks, the U.S. State Department recommends avoiding all travel to Somalia. However, the capital Mogadishu had been going through a significant change toward becoming a safer travel destination, with new top restaurants opening up in the city, a recent backlash indicated that the terror threat is still present. A car bomb that killed 18 people in the capital also destroyed one of the new restaurants, opened by native restaurateur Ahmed Jama.